Can I get a certified service dog for social anxiety, codependency, and agoraphobia?
Ever since I can remember doing basic things like going to school, shopping, and socializing has been harder for me than others. Then when I was 11 I was diagnosed with severe social anxiety. Then over the years it has gotten worse and worse. Nowadays I barely even leave the house unless I have to. I now have to home school and when I do leave the house one other person has to be with me and even then I still have panic attacks. Then when my sister got a job at the Humane Society she suggested I go to work with her one day. I was hesitant but when I got in there with the animals it was a little better, I was able to interact with the dogs perfect and even smile and nod when I was spoken to. And that was with animals I had never met before in my life! Then it got me wondering about service dogs. I googled multiple different things but nothing gave me a solid answer. So I figured I'd try here. I need to know a price for training, best breeds, and weather or not my dog could have public access to go with me. And all the information needs to be specific to the state I live in which is Arkansas. Can somebody please help me?
- 4 years agoFavorite Answer
In the U.S. to have and use a service dog, the person must meet the legal definition of "disabled" as set forth by the U.S. Department Of Justice contained in the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act.
No legal determination of disability = no service dog.
Simply having a "disorder" does not mean one is disabled. Having a medical problem or condition does not mean one is disabled. Having depression does not mean one is disabled.Having severe anxiety and agoraphobia does not mean one is disabled. "Lack of social skills" does not qualify as a disability. Because one has had anxiety and panic attacks does not mean they are disabled. Being "impaired" is not the same as being disabled. Having a doctor give one a "diagnosis" is not the same as being disabled. Being too lazy to properly monitor ones blood glucose and insulin levels or choosing not to take prescribed medication properly is not a disability.
The person MUST meet the ADA legal definition of disabled. A simple "doctors note" or a mere diagnosis of a condition is not legal proof of a disability. Neither is being a recipient of SSI, SSDI or the use of any other definition. The only definition of "disabled" which matters for service dog use is the USDOJ definition.
Then the dog must be individually trained in work or tasks which directly mitigate the effects of the qualifying disability (the dog must do something that the person is unable to do for themselves because of their disability).The simple presence of the animal is not a legal task or work under the law. Because one is more comfortable with the dog around is not a legal task or work under the law. "Feeling better" because the dog is there does not qualify as a task or work under the law. "Helping me stay calm in the stores and other places" is not a legal task or work under the law. "Because he gets me out of the house" is not a legal task or work under the law. "I don't panic as much when the dog is with me" is not a legal task or work under the law. "She also seems to act weird before I begin to feel bad or have any episodes" is not a trained work or task under the law. "When I am near him and when I can hug him I feel almost whole" is not a legal task or work under the law. The dog must actually be trained to do something you cannot do for yourself, which is related to your qualifying disability. The dog must also be trained to behave properly when in the public venue, and be under the handlers control at all times. The work or task MUST be related to the qualifying disability.
The first thing you must do is to be certain you meet the ADA legal definition of disabled. Begin there.
- Anonymous4 years ago
Ask your doctor. Your doctor should be able to help you with parts of it. At least your doctor can tell you whether your problem is considered a disability. If it is you could qualify for a service dog, or if not for a service dog, then an emotional support dog. The latter has fewer rights in public, but it still would be something for you to consider.
Here is the website you need for Arkansas:
- *****Lv 74 years ago
Only if you are disabled as defined by the ADA, and there are specific tasks the dog can be trained to do that assist with your disability. Service dogs are individually task-trained to assist disabled handlers. The ADA specifically excludes things like providing emotional support and comfort as qualifying tasks. So if all you need is the presence of the dog to function, then it is not a service dog; it's merely a pet that makes you feel better, and it could not be taken to public places other pets aren't allowed.
- 4 years ago
-ONLY if A Doctor has Diagnosed You for those Conditions. Because You're going to Need a Signed Paper from One- to Get that Service Animal. :o